Choose Janet Yellen, Not Larry Summers

Senator Spilka channels Elizabeth Warren by name. Janet Yellen, as a quibble, is hardly "free from the Old Boys’ network," but the letter is dead right on the merits. Larry Summers is bought and paid for. Obama might as well get straight to the point and name Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein or JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon: at least they are successful managers of large organizations. - promoted by Bob_Neer


In a letter to President Obama this morning, congressional candidate Karen Spilka urged the President to abandon the potential nomination of Larry Summers and instead nominate Janet Yellen. Check out the letter below:


(A copy of this letter was mailed this morning to the White House.)


August 5, 2013

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President,

It is time the Federal Reserve is run by a Chairperson, not another Chairman.

I’m writing to urge you to abandon Secretary Larry Summers as your choice as next Chairman of the Federal Reserve. We don’t need another member of the Old Boys’ network pulling the financial levers of government.

As a legislator who for years has stood up to big banks and the insurance industry on Beacon Hill, I know first hand what happens when there is a cozy relationship between regulators and industry. I’ve won many of those battles, but I have the scars to prove how tough it can be.

Secretary Summers has benefited from the revolving door between government and Wall Street. Each time he has left government or public service, he has rushed into the arms of the giants of the financial industry. According to the Wall Street Journal, he is currently being paid millions as a consultant for Citibank and the hedge fund D.E. Shaw.

We need autonomy from the Fed. We need a Fed that demonstrates its independence from Wall Street, not a Fed that curries favor with the powers that be in the financial industry. We need a Fed that cares more about the middle-class American worker, consumer and homeowner instead of one that caters to banks “too big to fail.” Larry Summers will disappoint time and again.

Fortunately, there is a superb choice available in Janet Yellen. She is highly qualified, free from the Old Boys’ network and has a clear vision for the way the Fed should be run. She is not tainted by her ties to Wall Street and she has more than demonstrated her abilities as a respected Vice Chair of the Federal Reserve Board.

I join Senator Elizabeth Warren and many others in urging you to pick Janet Yellen to be the next head of the Federal Reserve.




Karen Spilka

Massachusetts State Senator

Candidate for Massachusetts’ Fifth Congressional District


10 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Thanks

    Thank you for this post. I agree that Yellen is a better choice than Summers for many of the reasons you outline. I’m curious to know if you also think Yellen would be the best choice overall, and whether her positions on monetary policy are what we currently need? It seems to me that she would largely be a status quo chairperson.

    I wish Christina Romer was still on the shortlist as she has very clear opinions about what the Fed should do, and I think those sorts of actions would have the most benefit to the largest number of Americans.

  2. Am I the only one who found the opening really odd?

    It is time the Federal Reserve is run by a Chairperson, not another Chairman.

    It seems to me that the Chairperson position has two distinct subsets: chairman and chairwoman. Why not just write “Chairwoman”? that is, after all, what she seeks. Does that put too fine a point on what she seems to be asking for — sexism?

    Consider rewriting the sentence: “It is time the Fed is run by a person, not another man.” Strange, right? So is her sentence, for the same reason.

    I’m no fan of Mr. Summers, that’s for dang sure. His economic instincts don’t seem to materialize, and I too am uncomfortable with his coziness with large financial institutions. But, the letter could have gotten to all of that without making this about gender. I think it takes away from Ms. Yellen, who isn’t even mentioned until the penultimate paragraph. This letter reads to me as (1) anti-Summers, (2) anti-male-for-this-position, (3) pro-Yellen, in that order. Why not write it (3), (1), and not include (2) at all?

    P.S. Before you point out that since she seeks a female in particular (Ms. Yellen), the beginning doesn’t count as sexism, consider that she doesn’t immediately follow her “Chairperson” request with any mention of Ms. Yellen for paragraphs later.

    P.P.S. No, I’m not one of those upper class white Christian heterosexual men who cry out “reverse racism!” or whatever every time somebody suggests leveling the playing field. Not even close. Still, this particular letter left a sour taste in my mouth.

  3. That's gotta be..

    one of the dumbest letters I’ve ever seen.

  4. Well

    I agree with stomv that the letter would have served Yellen better by focusing more on her attributes and leave the Summers-bashing to the end. I also agree there’s some confusion about whether Yellen should be chosen because she’s the right candidate at this time, or because she’s a woman. What I think the letter meant is that the right candidate at this time happens to be a woman. But it’s not super-clear.

    But I agree with Senator Spilka (and Senator Warren) on the more important question: that Janet Yellen is a better choice than Summers, who has been pretty much wrong about everything economic upon which he’s been asked to pass.

    • Yellen is a better choice than Summers but why play the woman card?

      A couple of years ago I went to my local hearing on Congressional redistricting (old 5th, now 3rd) and a number of speakers, led by Rep. Tsongas herself, said the reason to keep the old 5th intact was to keep female representation of at least one district in MA.

      I though the whole argument was a little demeaning to women in general.

      Same thing with this Yellen business. This decision is being made by only one person, and let’s hope he’s thinking about credentials and not gender.

      • When it comes to the gender or ethnicity of

        a candidate being appointed or elected, I sort of take it on faith that it matters.

        Intellectually, I get it. Women officials are role-models for other women, they show kids that women are as competent as men, and they sometimes see things differently from men.

        But I don’t FEEL it as I suspect women do. I work for and with women, and I don’t feel a difference between them and men. But I’ve worked with women who felt a difference. I’m a white, middle-class, middle-aged guy. In that regard, almost everything seems normal to me.

  5. I get it too...

    But these visceral, generic, sexist justifications for the appointment are laughable. She comes off as an idiot.

  6. Very UnProfessional Letter

    Had a Pixie Pallidino edge to it. Uncool Karen.

    eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Fri 9 Aug 9:48 AM
    • Now we're going hyperbole

      Pixie Palladino was quite a bit rougher than the above letter and author in words, deed and character…..not even close. Except for maybe fiesty.

      I would agree that the letter is unprofessional with the sexist overtures and the lack of substantive content regarding Ms. Yellen but it is not even close to kittyoneil’s slash.

      It looks like a novice/first stab by a campaign to get some space in a crowded field. Today’s RNC post was fun and it made me think of your humor on a mild-sedated day.

      Larry Summers is a horrible choice. Dump the Fed (and get a bullet in the back of your head when you’re in Texas!)

      • You Are Right Heartland, It Doesn't Have a Pixie Palidino Edge To It..

        Upon a second read it sounds more Louise Day Hicksish

        eb3-fka-ernie-boch-iii   @   Fri 9 Aug 8:11 PM

« Blue Mass Group Front Page

Add Your Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Fri 28 Apr 12:02 PM